MixTape.me heads once more into the user-playlist breach

A brand-new site for mixtapes (or the virtual equivalent) has a charming interface, a fair database of tracks, and the ability for visitors to either play other members' playlists or search out individual songs. So does MixTape.me have a hope in hell of surviving where the legendary Muxtape ran afoul of the music industry?

Hard to say, but practical folk will check it out before much time elapses. Adam Pash, who daylights as editor of Lifehacker, pulled the site together from a raft of sources -- artist bios from Last.fm, lyrics from LyricWiki, videos from YouTube, and so on.

And then there's the music. In contrast to the original Muxtape, MixTape.me doesn't host its own tracks, and it does not allow users to upload tracks either. Instead, it searches the mighty SeeqPod MP3 search engine along with record label sites, music blogs, portions of The Cloud, and so on. (Canny observers will remember that SeeqPod itself has drawn some unfriendly attention from the RIAA, but that's a tale for another time.)

Advertisement

But the site does allow one to seek and play specific songs, if the tracks are available from the sites about which MixTape.me knows. That capability has been a major point of conflict between the industry at large and services such as Pandora. In MixTape's case, that search isn't comprehensive, skewing as one might imagine to the genres best represented online already. On the other hand, it's got a bumper crop of quirky, making it a delight for random browsing.

I searched on '50s-heartthrob-turned-bluesman Dion, for instance, and though I didn't get the iconic "Runaround Sue" or "The Wanderer," I found an amazing cover of Tom Waits' "Lookin' For The Heart Of Saturday Night." I had no idea, but 3:53 later I had the song; MixTape's got an affiliate relationship with Amazon, which appears to be its main profit center at this time. Not every track returned by the search plays in full (or at all), but the site will automatically try to find an alternate if there's a problem.

The playlists so far are a mixed bag, but there's potential for a good mix-maker to showcase new discoveries, rather than the usual tracks one always reverts to in these situations. In fact, I nearly made for you fine people a "Music To Read Betanews By" playlist, in which case, MixTape would have returned a unique URL for that playlist for linking and sharing purposes, or I could have embedded the player right here in the article. You could even make a note of my username and follow my future DJ stylings if you like, which come to think of it is also good and sufficient reason to do nothing of the sort.

In lieu of that for now, please enjoy user "channing"'s playlist of songs featured in Apple commercials. Or you might click into the "Recently Played" list to see what's attracting attention from other visitors. (Don't look now, by the way, but if this list is any indication the national obsession with "Single Ladies" has receded at last. Whew.)

There are quirks in this beta, of course. It would be nice to be able to re-label songs that aren't correctly marked; the hivemind can be helpful in these situations. (And some identifications are so far off-base that a side trip to Google is required even to identify what's playing.) One of the links I clicked went to a password-protected site that made it very hard to dismiss its authentication screen, and I had a few odd experiences when I clicked in my "library" (actually just bookmarks to things I'd flagged for later use); but a second click always got me where I was going, and frankly the errors seemed to be transient.

In any case, considering the likelihood that MixTape.me could attract the kind of music-industry attention the original Muxtape did, it's probably wise not to wait for this fine site to leave beta.

One Response to MixTape.me heads once more into the user-playlist breach

© 1998-2022 BetaNews, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy - Cookie Policy.